Former Foes

Oklahoma Football Moves 2024 Season Opener to Friday, August 30

On Tuesday, the University of Oklahoma announced that the 2024 season opener against Temple will now be played on Friday, August 30, at 6:00 p.m. (ESPN).

The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, August 31, but was moved at the request of ESPN so they could televise the Sooners’ first game as a member of the SEC in a primetime window, according to OU Athletic Director Joe Castiglione.

 

  “We were asked to consider moving up the season opener by a day so ESPN could televise our first game as a member of the SEC in a primetime window,” said Castiglione. “It’s a unique and exciting opportunity for us, as it will be our first Friday night game in the history of Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and will give our team tremendous visibility nationally. Another major plus is, given the kick time, our players and fans should benefit from a cooler temperature. It’s reasonable to expect that playing in the evening will significantly mitigate some of the heat issues we typically deal with during early season day games. Our first-ever ‘Friday Night Lights’ will undoubtedly be one for the books, and we’re excited to open the season and our first year in the SEC in such a spectacular fashion.”

Season openers with Saturday afternoon kickoffs have been brutal for Sooner Nation in recent years, with late August and early September heat being dangerous for fans who plan to pack into the 86,000 seats inside Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. 

Heat indices in Norman have been at least 98 degrees on August 31 in three of the last four years, according to a press release from the university.

 

Now, with the game set for 6:00 pm rather than 11 am or 2:30 pm, the temperatures should be on their way down by time the game starts, and will continue to fall as the evening progresses.

Oklahoma has played in 81 games on Friday but has only played in five Friday evening contests, all of which came on the road and all victories.

According to the release, Oklahoma has played 16 regular season Friday games (10-6) since World War II, and 10 of those came against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. 

The Sooners will enter 2024 under third-year head coach Brent Venables and have won 18 consecutive home openers heading into the season.

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